Ear Biscuits (Best Of)

Ridin Hard

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I don’t know why Butcherknife Bill changed his name to Sourdough Sam. Maybe someone hung the moniker on him because of his reputation for delicious biscuits. Or perhaps because he remained unmarried, the word “sourdough” being synonymous in the west with the word “bachelor.” I can however guess why Sourdough Sam never found a bride. Because he snores like a choked bull. 
 
 
The reason I know about Sam’s sleeping habits is because I went on a trail drive with him and a bunch of wannabe cowboys for three days and three nights. The key word here being “nights.” As we unrolled our bedrolls on the first night Darrell remarked, “Ah, you will never get constipation if you sleep on the ground.” 
 
 
“You won’t get any sleep either,” a veteran camper replied prophetically.
 
 
After just ten minutes of Sourdough Sam’s snoring, wheezing and whistling Darrel’s response was, “It’s not exactly what you would call “melodious” is it?”
 
 
After one snoring fit that consisted of three violent staccato outbursts followed by several seconds of silence one trail driver made the hopeful comment…”Maybe he killed himself.”
 
  
But we had no such luck. 
 
 
Suffice it to say, we were not lulled to sleep by the howl of a coyote. Sam’s snoring even scared them away. And so the sleepless companions considered the options. “I remember seeing an advertisement in the Sharper Image catalog,” said one of the city dudes, “for a device that sent an electrical impulse to the snorer’s brain whenever he  or she uttered a peep. I considered getting one for my wife.” 
 
 
That remark sent us looking for a hot shot. But, as usual, the batteries were dead.
 
 
Another trail driver suggested, “maybe we should just roll Sam over on his side. Perhaps he only snores on his back.” Much to our chagrin we discovered that Sam even snored with his lip hobbled, hanging upside down with a bandana in his mouth.
 
 
“Let’s just asphyxiate him with his own pillow,” suggested one exasperated insomniac. “No one will ever know.” But instead, one by one we just moved farther away from the source of “earitation.” Without the warmth of the fire, using only our backs for a blanket, we arose the next morning with icicles hanging from our lower lips. Not having slept a wink I asked the other men, “How’d you get along?” 
 
 
“It was so dark I couldn’t see that I threw my bedroll on a hill of red ants,” said one. 
 
 
“That’s better than laying on a fresh cow pie like I did,” replied another. 
 
 
Looking at a bruised and battered Darrel I asked,  “What happened to you?” 
 
 
“I got away as far as I could but I ended up in a cow stomp and got trampled by a stampede.”  Caused no doubt by the thunderous snores emanating from camp.
 
 
Despite our pathetic condition no one complained to Sourdough Sam about his snoring because, you see, he was our camp cook. A cowboy never packs a lunch so he is totally dependent on the cook for sustenance. One complaint to the cook and you could starve to death on a trail drive. So nobody uttered a word.
 
 
On the second night of the trail drive when Sourdough started his incessant snoring we all ran to the chuck wagon to find something we could stuff in our ears. And on the third night we finally got some shut eye. That was because our cook laid in his bedroll with one eye peeled on his chuck wagon all night, attempting to discover who stole his sourdough mix the night before.

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